Loadout is a free to play TPS or third person shooter that can be played against humans or bots. I don’t really like the idea of third person shooters but honestly it doesn’t seem to affect the game-play at all. For critics of pay-2-win don’t worry Loadout dodged that bullet. Loadout sells a few things, experience boosts, loadout slots, weapon slots, and cosmetic items. They do not sell any weapon or attachments so in order to get them the players have to play. As a player levels they are given so many free character and weapon loadouts so players do not have to purchase them.
I have had so much fun playing Loadout and the fact that it is free to play is icing on the cake. When you first start out the UI guides you through what you have to do before you play and it is very user friendly. The action is constant and even though it is only 8 players there is plenty of combat. Fewer players allows players of more skill to have a greater outcome on the game. The graphics were pretty good for cartoons but where the game really shines or doesn’t, if you’re a parent, is the gore. To be fair it is cartoon gore but not everyone will see it that way. Depending on what you shoot at a player and where it hits them there are countless ways a player can be dismembered.
The controls get a little clunky at times which is a downside. When I play shooters I never run in a straight line I usually move forward and right/left and when did this in Loadout I noticed that the keys sometimes stuck. The controls just didn’t always respond appropriately and it can catch you off guard. By pressing “a” or “d” twice your character will roll and often this would result in me flying off a cliff. I should mention that players can jump virtually everything in the game. There are plenty of chasms and walls to jump making combat a bit more difficult than normal.
The combat is different from most games that I have played. The players are able to constantly jump with no stamina loss which makes them difficult to target and kill. This will be annoying to most traditional players who like a realistic game, but it forces players to refine their hand-eye coordination to become better at the game. The fact that the combat is fast makes for quick game-play. Upon death players are given a few seconds to respawn or edit their loadouts. The number of weapons a player can choose from is immense. There are four basic gun types but they all have dozens of attachments. Each attachment modifies the way the gun fires and with hundreds of combinations there are plenty of options to choose from. I won’t go into all the combinations because honestly I haven’t even scratched the surface of what is possible. Most of these attachments have to be purchased with in-game Blutes which is earned and cannot be bought with real money.
There are four game types:
- Blitz, where players capture control points one at a time, each one captured gives so many points to the team.
- Death Snatch, where players kill each other like death-match but they drop vials. These vials actually award the points not the kills and they can be picked up by either team. Picking a friendly vial up denies a score from the enemies.
- Extraction, each team has a collector who collects ore’s and drops them in hoppers scattered throughout the map. If you are not a collector you defend yours or attack the enemies to collect ore quicker and win the match.
- Jackhammer, capture the flag but its a hammer. Players cannot access their weapons while they carry the hammer but it can be used to kill players and its effective. Additionally each kill a player gets with the hammer gains the flag more points when it is captured. To capture the flag the team must have control of their own. My only complaint is that the game takes way to long to complete even if you have a competent team.
The game picks random players to be on each team before a match starts. This makes it impossible to play with your friends, unless you have all slots filled with friends, but it also makes it a fair game. What happens is the same four friends pick a team and just curb stomp random pubbers, I saw it in Left 4 Dead all the time. Part of me realizes that this encourages team play and makes for a better game overall. The other part of me knows that the game will not attract newbies if they are being beat by pro-like teams. There are plans for competitive games which might actually make for a good Esport. I did have more fun playing with friends than with a PUG, I am pretty certain that the guy who kept walking off a cliff was trying to retrieve his previously dead corpse. Currently there are tons of annoyingly bad kids who saw a free to play game that they didn’t have to convince their parents to buy. While I am sure eventually players will get adjusted to the game-play it can be annoying unless you’re playing Death Snatch in which case it can also be as rewarding.
Loadout is a really fun game and it has tons of customizable options for its weapons. I do worry that it will get old quick because it is so similar to other shooters and not as established as they are. It is free and doesn’t have the typical Pay to win feel that other games have. Combat is different with lots of player movement but it is quite exhilarating. With a random mix of teams it is difficult to stack a team ahead of time which makes for a fair game. Unfortunately the controls are not always responsive and it doesn’t stand out among other shooters. All in all Loadout scores pretty well in my book although its replay value might not be high I think it has great potential once it gets polished.